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cancel each other out
[for the opposite effects of two things] to balance each other. The cost of the meal you bought and what I owed you cancel each other out, so we're even. They canceled out each other.
cancel out (of something)
to withdraw from something. I hate to cancel out of the event at the last minute, but this is an emergency. It's too late to cancel out.
cancel someone out of somethingand cancel someone out
1. to eliminate someone from something (as from a list of names). We had to cancel them out. We canceled out all the people who did not show up.
2. Sl. to eliminate someone; to kill someone. The drug lord threatened to cancel out his former partner for testifying against him.
cancel someone's Christmas
Sl. to kill someone; to destroy someone. (Underworld or jocular; the idea is that the dead person will not live until Christmas.) If he keeps bugging me, I'm gonna cancel his Christmas. Willie threatened to cancel Richard's Christmas if Richard didn't pay up.
cancel something out
to balance the effects of something. Sending flowers might cancel the bad feelings out. The last payment canceled out the debt.
Neutralize the effect of, offset, render void. For example, Anne's kindness to her neighbor could not cancel out her irritability. The verb cancel was used in this way by itself from the late 1400s; out was added in the early 1900s.
1. To delete or erase something: I went back to the list and canceled out my name. Realizing the total was incorrect, I canceled it out and recalculated the price.
2. To equalize or make up for something; offset something: Today's decline in the stock's price canceled out yesterday's gain. We made record progress last month, but the delays this month have canceled it out. I never go to the beach because the fun of swimming in the ocean and the difficulty of getting to the beach cancel out.
3. To remove a common factor from both sides of a mathematical equation: After I canceled out the common factors, I could easily solve for the variable. When two factors are equal, you can cancel them out.
4. To withdraw from something, as an activity or obligation: They had dinner reservations with us, but they had to cancel out when they couldn't find a babysitter.
5. Slang To murder someone: The loan shark threatened to cancel me out if I didn't pay him the money. The gangsters vowed to cancel out any rivals.
cancel someone out of something
tv. to eliminate someone; to kill someone. The drug lord threatened to cancel out his former partner for testifying against him.
cancel someone’s Christmas
tv. to kill someone; to destroy someone. (Underworld. The dead person will miss Christmas.) If he keeps bugging me, I’m gonna cancel his Christmas.